My name is Angus and my passion is music. I make solo music under the name The Peach Tree that varies in style from death metal to techno with dark folk undertones throughout the gamut of genres I play around with.
I release it for free under a Creative Commons License meaning it is free to download and share, as long as its use is non-commercial and the work is attributed properly.
My best friend is my cat, Tigerlilly, and I earn a living currently as a gardener although I change vocations with the shifting sands of time and circumstance.
I have experienced a lot in life, never one to shy away from taking chances, which has led me to both the heights of euphoria and the lows of depression. I try and glean life lessons from what I have done and am always looking optimistically at the future.
Did I mention my best friend is my cat?
I'm rather quick-witted, intelligent and very open minded.
1s and 0s are my loyal companions. The net is my home.
In which the words "Naively, then, you might expect him to be a typical artistic fat-cat who regards every act of piracy of his photos as a personal insult that in a just world would be avenged by amputation of limbs and life incarceration at the minimum" appear.
THAT author has tainted my view of Techdirt for many months now, thinking that you all believe artists to be "typical fat-cats who regard every act of piracy yadda yadda"
Your points, Chelle, are very valid. And too many to independently address, although rest assured I have read everything with my eyeballs glued to the screen.
Mike, you're right I shouldn't "come out swinging" - but also, I know you only said you've probably spent more time thinking and posting about artists needs than I have working on my music as a raised-hackles thing. That pushed a button. Cos believe me I've spent a LOT of time on my music.
But you're both right in the areas that matter. I think everyone I've flared up against is right and myself too... it's just that we have different definitions for words.
So, I guess when it comes to the fairy floss analogy... you're right, I work hard on my music and thus I OWN the skills and labour I put into it (let's not mention the software or we'll spiral down a rabbit hole), in a sense I AM saying "I own myself", but I think fondly of my creations as part of myself.
Of course the world is as free to listen to my music as they are to breathe the country air.
But one thing we haven't talked about is the concept of "moral rights" - in that sense I think it's important to distinguish that no one "owns the intangible sound" - I realise that's what you've been saying all along, I realise that now and I acquiesce. I thought you were trying to say, basically, that "everyone owns it" - my point about moral rights here is that if someone were to take one of my creations and fuck it up so it sounds horrible, that would be treating it as if it were their property to misuse as they like.
No, no one owns my sounds, but I do have something over everyone else who hears my works - I am allowed to impinge on my own moral rights, I can fuck up a song and make it sound like shit, because I created it and I have moral rights to the song.
So what is this "something" that I have that others don't, cos there's no denying it's there... yet I agree, it's not property. Interested to hear discussion from both of you, chelleliberty and Mike
To further expand on my incredulity, I'll just make it clear that I'm perfectly happy with my current situation regarding music. I'm not looking to the future for some magic thing to happen that means I never have to write a new song again. Why the FUCK does everyone think that's how musos work? We just like performing in front of people and recording stuff. I get so much satisfaction out of it, I don't give a shit about marketing to anyone or trying to get a label deal.
And no, I'm not a Techdirt regular I'm a noob, but it's fucken annoying when I see posts with headlines like this one on my Twitter feed.
I'm not gonna do anything just because some arrogant prick like Mike, whose every article I've read is belittling artists, says I should.
It doesn't mean I don't do those things though. I'm nowhere near sueing my fans, I encourage viral distribution. I connect with my fans deeply on a personal level.
But I don't need to justify anything here, because _you're_ being a dick.
Intangible doesn't mean not valuable. In case you're not up with mid-20th Century physics, none of the world is tangible at all really. Where do you draw this line? Things you can touch? That's just an illusion the condensed vibrations of energy against your fingers is causing. If intangible things like music don't have value then _nothing_ can have value. And value is intrinsically linked with _property_ - who obtains the transfer of this value? If you are really arguing that sound does not have value than nothing does, and therefore Anarchy reigns.
By definition, something being my property means everyone (yes that includes the rest of the world) are obliged to respect that. It's not a matter of law. It's a matter of principle. You just don't piss in someone's fishpond.
I work hard making my music. I fucking own it. Saying that I am claiming to own a smell is insulting.
Pro-intellectual-property doesn't always mean being against copying and sharing, guys.
I think of it like... I own a fairy floss machine, that's the skills and equipment I've amounted and the labour I put in. You're arguing that because the amount of sugar needed to create faerie floss is almost none (the ease of copying my work and the negligent amount of loss I incur from copying), that I therefore don't have some basic right to "own" the fairy floss I'm about to give you.
If I want I can charge a buck for that fairy floss, or I can give it away for free in the spirit of charity and hope that maybe someone may buy a fairy floss t-shirt (as is the case with my music), and at least rave to their friends about how good it is.
Yes, the fairy floss has an expiry date. As does copyright. But it's still property.
And the machine is mine, that's the hard work and money I put into my works, and it produces new edible material (consumable music) seemingly out of nothing, that can be traded for cashmonies or services or whatever. This edible material is a commodity. It is property.
One thing that frustrates me about Techdirt and particularly this author, is the blatant one-sidedness of the debate. You guys NEVER think about us little artists who perhaps, like me, only live for their music, and value the songs they have written. To us our songs mean the world. Why wouldn't we treat them as property?
It wasn't clear. You just commented on the look and feel of one part of the enormous machine that is journalism. You then jumped straight from Simon's description of the Huffington Post office to your point about global media. No continuity. I get what you're saying though, so it's cool. Sorry if I was a bit rude. I have no complaints, I just felt like venting my anger that I burnt my finger on the stove... 4 times o_0
Hey guys, some of you may have seen my posts here on Techdirt before.
I just want to reiterate that I make all of my music for free.
I 100% agree with this post. I have built a solid fan base through releasing things for free and I pay my bills by doing all sorts of things from gardening to telemarketing.
Some people have attacked me viciously in the past when I've posted on here because they've misinterpreted me. I just want to remind everyone: artists are not the enemy in "The Pirate Wars" - I love filesharing, it's how I get a lot of my music out there, and I firmly believe that I shouldn't be paid for doing something that I get so much enjoyment out of.
That's just me saying that to clear up any misconceptions about my stance on file-sharing for anyone who has read my earlier posts.
I think the copyleft movement, namely Creative Commons, is a crucial part of artists getting content out there for free. Check out www.creativecommons.org if you don't know what I'm talking about.
I still stand by this belief though: copyright is important. What CC does is expand on traditional copyright to loosen this "hold" on 18th Century ideas.
Changing the actual structure of the law would be a logistical nightmare.
It would be like declaring that all the old currencies are defunct and only new physical bills and coins will be accepted. That would be crippling.
So, as a community, we're working on it. And the Creative Commons principle is simple: the copyright stays, but the artist grants an additional license which means it can be downloaded for free and shared: Brilliant!
But like I said, artists are not the enemy. Remember that most of us are just like me, telemarketing and such by day and plugging our guitars into our computers by night. The Metallicas and Rihannas of the world probably make up about 0.5% of the artist community.
I have only replied on one other article of this blog so far, and it was to state that I, as an artist, support piracy and release all my works for free under a Creative Commons License.
I will never forget the vitriol that was flung my way berating me as a pro-copyright, anti-free-culture selfish arsehole.
And now this article, that blatantly opens with "you might expect him to be a typical artistic fat-cat who regards every act of piracy of his [works] as a personal insult that in a just world would be avenged by amputation of limbs and life incarceration at the minimum"
SO many artists release their stuff for free under CC.
Techdirt, pull your fucking head in and stop abusing the wrong people and praising the right people only when you think it will boost your web 2.0 presence.
I am in a flux betwixt elation at my supporters and disgust at some of the vitriol flung my way.
I won't quote everything but this one is a real piece of work:
"That sounds like you're in it for the money and are one of those people who think that the only way to make money is to keep other people from making money. And I bet that very little of your music is actually completely original. Of course, that's probably OK for *you*, right?"
Actually my music is entirely original and I DO do it for the love of it. I'm a gardener, that's how I make my money. I barely get by and I spend most of my free time creating music with skills that I taught myself, guitar, piano, software that I have bought, and skills picked up in a Sound Engineering course.
I ask for nothing back from my hard work, but am highly thankful for the broad audience I have acquired by using a CC license to make explicit the fact that you can download and share my music for free. Have a look at the main site where I began distributing my music for free: http://www.last.fm/music/the+peach+tree and tell me I don't like reaching a broad audience over making money.
Also, the Dragonball GT cover on one of my albums is hardly different from someone using the character, Goku, as an avatar in a forum or anything. It hardly adds to the "value" of my music even if there was a value. The music is free so I am not profiting off Funimation or anything. I support sharing. The reason I don't just let my music loose into the public domain is because then Universal or whatever could simply take one of my songs, my pride and joy and the result of years of hard work, brand it with any old artist they like, and sell it.
How would you feel if you heard a song "by Lady Gaga" on the radio when you knew it was yours? And then see her CD in stores with your track on it and people buying it, all the profits going to Lady Gaga and her label?
The CC restrictions are just asserting the bare-bones rights I need to make sure that:
a) People know that I wrote and performed the song and
b) Big corporations don't profit off my work.
Whilst also freeing up the restrictions of the basic copyright that would exist if not for CC, ie. the restriction on sharing.
Educational use, private use, even public use is all allowable under my CC licensing as long as I protect the above two things, which are pretty obvious and important.
On a final note, I advise you to read the FREE (Creative Commons Licensed) book entitled "Free Culture", by the founder of both the free culture movement AND Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig. It can be found at http://www.free-culture.cc/ it's short and a great read and shows just how bloody stupid most of the negative responses to my post are.
Thank you to those who have defended me, complimented me, and generally said I'm on the right track.
As an artist I'm a bit peeved about this. There are so many of us that support the free culture movement and file sharing, me being one of them. To say automatic copyright gives me a gun is spitting in my face. I include on top of the copyright a Creative Commons license meaning everyone can download my music for free and share it, as long as its use is non commercial and attribution is given. If I didn't have a copyright for my music it would void the CC license meaning whoever the hell wants can make money off my hard work and not even tell people who created it.
Copyright is important, it merely has a changed role in this new era.
And STOP thinking artists are the enemy. The number of DIY musicians like myself who earn nothing from music but happily do it for the love and passion of expression, far outweighs the Rihannas and Metallicas of the world.
The RIAA et. al. and big labels in general are the enemy. Get it straight.
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